Thursday, May 31, 2007

Well It Was Bound to Happen...

As faithful readers know, one of my contentions with Taco Bell is its stinginess with sauce packets in urban settings. rundown for new readers: urban = poor. poor = steal more sauce packets than necessary for an order and sell it on the streets.

It's shameful, really. But apparently I am not the only one who has been infuriated by sauce stinginess.

A manager at Wendy's was shot by someone who had placed a drive-thru order and wasn't given adequate sauce. Or he was but then he decided he wanted more. Read it here.

Now I am not promoting gun violence - not even for generous offerings of fast food sauce - but I do find this incident very interesting.


Remember Will - the Taco Bell guy who was going to send me Taco Bell bucks? Well, he hasn't. Remember also he said to check back on May 23 about a new menu item? Well, I didn't check back with him but I did check out the website.

Lo and behold: The Extreme Cheese and Beef Quesadilla

The rundown: three cheese blend (still don't know what three cheeses these are) AND nacho cheese sauce. and beef of course. So maybe when I get my Taco Bell bucks, I will not only be able to finally try the 7-layer crunchwrap (not that I am broke but principal - I said I would wait until receiving the (much) aforementioned TB bucks so wait I will), but I will also try this new menu item, subbing the beef for beans. I am curious about the mixing of two very different cheese blends - that is one shredded, one sauce. How will they mesh? Again, Taco Bell manages to invent a new menu item using the same ingredients as in everything else. Brilliant.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Even I Think This is Weird...

Clearly I hold a high respect for those who love Taco Bell - for those who, one might say, even obsess with Taco Bell.

However, Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas has taken this love a little too far (surprised?) as you can read and watch here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Remember 1996...

when Dave took a part-time "job" at Taco Bell?

I remember finding it hilarious.

watched it again, thanks to this YouTube clip, and yep, it's funny again.

Free Taco June 5!


Taco Bell will be giving out one free crunchy taco to each customer on June 5, 2007 from 12 PM to 8PM as part of its effort to collect donations for the American Red Cross. However, donations are not required to receive the free taco.

Friday, May 25, 2007


Dude is trying to give me a run for my bell bucks.

Still I respect the time and effort he gave to this pensive review.

Check out food quality: 9.2

way to go! now they just need to clean up the place a bit. good food is the first step to gourmet cooking, though. cleanliness: ah, whatever.


The Palm Beach Post has a column by "The Lunch Guys."

They do not recommend the 7 - layer crunchwrap for lunch.

The unfortunate thing is that this column makes the same complaints I have heard about it: why red sauce, why all the tortilla strips, why not more beans, stingy layers, etc. Now, in fairness to the crunchwrap, I have heard good things too. And I haven't received my Taco Bell bucks so I cannot give my own opinion yet. I am waiting...

But I must say this column is convincing. The Lunch Guys clearly take their job seriously.

I want their job.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


I don't want to defend Brit but...this is unfair.

A Softball Team?

Apparently there is a softball (baseball? tee-ball? other-ball?) team called Taco Bell. At least according to this article out of the Upper Peninsula.

Confusing, no?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

What Will Taco Bell Introduce Tomorrow?

On a comment a few weeks ago, Will of Taco Bell (apparently the manager of PR for TB HQ) wrote that I should check in with him on May 23 about any new menu items at Taco Bell.

It's May 22. what are they?


1. the taco bell breakfast menu to all markets.
2. 7 - layer grilled stuft burrito
3. 7- layer gordita
4. 7 layers of cinnamon twists (basically, i don't see this 7-layer thing dying until after 7-7-07 and the big proposal contest)
5. 7- layer mexican pizza

well - you get the point...

Monday, May 21, 2007

A Word of Warning

I might be busy this week.

My absense will have nothing to do with this article I read today.

I haven't received the taco bell bucks yet. i am going to start a watch. after all, i've promised myself and the world not tasting of the 7 layer crunchwrap until i can pay for it with well-earned bucks. maybe will has to put in a check request for them.

FYI - This is post #304. I missed the 300th post milestone so no big celebration will take place.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

It's My Friday

My weekend begins this evening.

So Happy Friday!!!

Here's a happy friday photo:

How tasty does this look?

Dear Will of Taco Bell, again II

Hi Will,

I haven't received the Taco Bell bucks yet. Just a reminder! I am going to try the 7-layer crunchwrap until I can "buy" it with my bucks. I am starving. Soon I will begin to fast, making a stand for that which is nearest and dearest to me: the crunchwrap. Until then i have to eat delicious pizza and overpriced thai. Those bucks would help me throw a pity party.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Slate Did It So I Don't Have To...

Yesterday I felt the obligation to, in some way, note the passing of Jerry Falwell. After all, with this blog I not only explore food, feelings, and experiences associated with Taco Bell, but I do, on occasion, mention a political person or circumstance that demands attention.

Jerry Falwell's death demands attention. I wanted to collect a number of his outrageously bigoted quotes from his lifetime to relieve any guilt some of you may feel for a little bit of glee that might have entered your hearts when you heard the news of his death. I felt the glee and then the guilt. And then refreshed my memory: this man led a church of hate and intolerance. Yes, his "followers" are also to blame for their ignorance, but Falwell is to blame for taking advantage of their ignorance. He was a very smart man who knew he could brainwash very dumb people.

So in looking for quotes to post, I realized that the almighty online magazine Slate may have done it for me.

Sure enough it had. Read it here.

To whet your appetite:
"I listen to feminists and all these radical gals. ... These women just need a man in the house. That's all they need. Most of the feminists need a man to tell them what time of day it is and to lead them home. And they blew it and they're mad at all men. Feminists hate men. They're sexist. They hate men; that's their problem."

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


The Rice Bowl. KFC rice? with fried chicken? and gravy? i just learned of this item on the website - I assume because KFC knows better than to advertise it. While i make fun of the other heart attack bowls, I will admit that if i ate chicken, i might be intrigued enough to try one: the ingredients are decent. But rice? gross. don't advertise it. no one wants it. my guess: they only serve it at the Taco Bell/KFC establishments so they can just use some of the TB rice on the one order placed a day for the KFC rice bowl.

I Wasn't Serious...

This is KFC's newest heart attack in a bowl menu item.
Here is its description on KFC's website:

Our new bowl is a blend of mouth-watering KFC flavors and textures all layered together. We start with our signature mashed potatoes layered with sweet kernel corn and loaded with bite-size pieces of crispy chicken. Then we top with our homestyle white pepper gravy and sprinkle with our shredded three cheese blend. For the final touch, we tuck a buttermilk biscuit in the side.

Yes, that is right - this bowl needs an "final touch". Last summer, when YUM! first introduced this heart attack bowl thing, I wrote a post about the absurdity of all these ingredients wrapped in a bowl...because why not? People don't eat at fast food restaurants for their health. Note my Orwellian talent of foresight in the last sentence. Apparently YUM! noticed it.

Monday, May 14, 2007

One More Day...

Until Wilco's new album, Sky Blue Sky, comes out.

Reviews have been mixed because people who don't play music feel better about themselves when they rip apart other people's music (i am referring to Pitchfork, of course - the website I hate but always read). I've heard a lot of the songs on the album live so take it from me: it will be good.

If you have quicktime (I don't), stream the album from their website,


Sabrina and Tom: Review Taco Bell

As you saw on Friday, Sabrina reported to me that she had a less than stellar experience at Taco Bell on her way to DC.

Well, we spoke of this experience in more depth over the weekend. After she had a VERY positive review of a Taco Bell outside of charming and wonderful Baltimore on the way back to NYC yesterday, I've asked her and her boyfriend, Tom, to send me a detailed report.
here it is, in their words:
(p.s. they called the locations from the road for directions. they identified themselves as taco bell inspectors and had pleasant exchanges. i do not think the tb inspector bit was taken seriously).

Friday, May 11, 2007
Chestnut Hill Road, Newark, Delaware

This weekend found the tribe of SATO Nation migrating south form the isle of manhattan to the capital for birthday/mother’s day. Accompanying us was a guest tribe member. Both on the journey to and from pit stops at Taco Bells were made. Not knowing the location of said establishments, we Googled them and located the following in the vicinity at that time.
This is a stand alone establishment located about 10 minutes from the I95 exit.

Overall all rating: B-/C+

Convenience to highway: B
Friendliness of Staff: A-
Cleanliness: A-
Food Quality: C

2 bean burritos
1 1/2lb Cheesy Bean & Rice burrito
1 7 layer Crunchwrap
1 gordita
2 med sodas

Report: Bean burritos were light on content; 1/2lb Bean and rice was light and contained some overcooked/hard rice; 7 layer was not well put together.

May 13, 2007
E. Joppa Road, Parksville, MD
note: on this trip, tom and sabrina had 2 other taco bell lovers in the car.

This is a stand alone establishment located about 4 minutes from the I95 exit.

Overall all rating: A

Convenience to highway: A-
Friendliness of Staff: A
Cleanliness: A
Food Quality: A

2 7 layer crunchwraps (plus one more, ordered after tasting)
4 bean burritos
1 1/2lb cheesy bean and rice burrito
1 grilled steak taquito
BAJA Chalupa Sub Beans for Meat
3 medium sodas

Report: Bean burritos were fat and healthy with content [except for one aberration;; 1/2lb Bean and rice was made just right; 7 layer crunchwrap was crisp and fresh, and when sliced open one could see a well put together layering [each layer distinct and identifiable]; Grilled steak taquito was a nice small addition….fresh and tasty; not too big and not too small….
also of note: One of the TB inspectors on this trip was so satisfied with the 7 layers crunch wrap that she ordered a second one. It was her first...then second...7 layer crunchwrap.

First Impression: Taco Bueno

I have heard the praises for this Taco Bueno for some time. I have never had it - i dont think it has locations east of the Kansas border. Unfortunately, when people sing these praises, they mention that it's better than taco bell. of course, this prompts me to get a little defensive and thus makes me hesistant to say anything positive about the company.

Farmers Branch, TX passed an ordinance on Saturday which makes it illegal for landlords to rent to illegal immigrants. During discussion of this proposal, Taco Bueno apparently moved its headquarters to Farmers Branch, prompting some to point to this move as an endorsment of the ordinance. This weekend Taco Bueno clarified its position this weekend, calling the ordinance "ill-advised."

This article also mentions that "Councilman Tim O'Hare...countered by pointing out that Taco Bell moved its headquarters to Farmers Branch after the council approved the ordinance."

What headquarters? I know not the main headquarters in Irvine? The HQ of Texas?
And does Taco Bell approve of this ordinance? Good god, I hope not.

Friday, May 11, 2007

This Just In...

One of my best friends, Sabrina, loves Taco Bell. I have mentioned her before. However, she does not love blogs. In fact, she doesn't read them. But I will continue to mention her as I am forgiving and understanding. I didn't read blogs until I had one of my own.

In any case, she is on her way from nyc to dc for the weekend. I just got this text message: Taco Bell in [Delaware] gets an overall C. The staff was awesome.

I promptly responded: the math indicates the food was NOT good.

Her response: Skimpy bb. Stale rice used in the cheesy burrito.

In Taco Bell's defense (I guess), Sabrina is a very harsh critic. We both critique Taco Bell out of love. I believe in supportive love. She believes in tough love.

but stale rice? come on, Taco Bell...

Too Good Not to Post

Warning: Nothing in this link is related to Taco Bell. However, it is hilarious, and if you are looking for an amusing break (which apparently you are since you are reading this blog), then you should click on the link and laugh and then worry some more about the people who make up community/society/world.

In other news, I almost had the 7 layer crunchwrap last night but...didn't make it to Taco Bell. I went to a concert at the 930 club. It was the early show starring Ben Gibbard with star openers Jonathan Rice and Dave Bazan so it was over by 9:30. Here's the sad thing: there is a Taco Bell on 14th and U, approximately 6 blocks from the venue, and when we contemplated going to Taco Bell, we factored the drive to Maryland into the decision not to go because we didn't even think about going to the one on 14th and U because the place is gross. dirty. filled with trash. I am not saying it's rat-dirty but it's too dirty for me. which, for those who don't know me, is pretty dern dirty.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

In the Meantime...

Since I won't be able to give you anything tantalizing to read until this afternoon, please keep yourself busy with this article on Obama in last week's New Yorker.

It is favorable. It is endearing. It reaffirms my belief that he is as delicious as an enchirito.

My Apologies...

I have been MIA for a few days. This will not last much longer. Like maybe a few more hours.

I have a report from a relatively trustworthy source that he was "not too jazzed" about the 7 layer crunchwrap and much prefers the regular one with beans. it must be the lack of tomatoes and lettuce. or the addition of red sauce. he was also not too jazzed about the enchirito and i think perhaps the tangy red sauce in the 7 - layer is the same as that on the enchirito. and i loved that so this report in no way reflects my opinion on the item. I will try it as soon as my taco bell bucks come in the mail.

and apparently they are on their way! how cool is that?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Some Words on "Real" Tex-Mex and "Real" Mexican

Someone is talking some shit about Taco Bell, even mentioning its founder, Glen Bell.

Seems harsh to me. However, the article does provide some history and definitions of Mexican dishes. Even though there is an underlining bitter tone toward what America has done to Mexican food, the article is a good read.

I do, however, what to give the writer the ol' Schlinder's List talk. In high school, a friend of mine would defend her appreciation of movies like Halloween: 20 Years Later or The Faculty (yes, both starring a young Josh Harnett) by saying: Not every movie has to be Schlinder's List. Some 10 years later, I find this defense is often handy. Not everything people like/appreciate/enjoy/revel in has to be top-notch quality. It can just be appreciated for what it is (or because Josh Harnett is so cute). Likewise, Taco Bell may not be a four star restaurant, using only the best ingredients so let's not judge it as such. It's tasty and cheap and can be ordered from a car. It doesn't claim to be anything more. Isn't that enough?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

If You're Reading This...

You probably already know what Anne announced on her blog today. (yes, i am bragging a little).

Anne knows a lot of blogs. And a lot of talented, funny people. I am certainly honored.

I have to give my muse, Taco Bell, some props. Sure they didn't pay for my education or give me invaluable writing instructions or send me Taco Bell Bucks (yet) but somehow I've managed to let this fast food chain into my mind and heart. It deserves recognition for that feat.

And for the skeptics: I don't think Anne would pick my blog simply because we are good friends - but maybe because I am taking her to the Edgar Allen Poe House in Baltimore this weekend. Hmmmm. In any case, thank you, Anne. Your attention on top of Taco Bell HQ's Will's has me feeling a little on top of the moon this week. When I get those Taco Bell Bucks, I'll send some your way since visiting Taco Bell 3 times in 5 years is shameful. Thank god I was present for one of those. Burlington 2004!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

For Those of You Who Don't Read Comments...

I received this comment from Will at Taco Bell HQ yesterday. It's really quite fetching: answers to questions, connections to the HQ, TB Bucks coming my way. Finally all this hard work is paying off. Phew.

Once I receive these TBB Will has promised, I will consider in what blogworthy fashion I should use them: a contest or tournement might arise. If you have ideas, please email or comment. I will consider them.

In any case, here is the comment. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did:


Your passion for all things Bell is a delight. Glad to hear you are dropping knowledge on those not versed in the way of the 4th meal.

You see, it is I who has the power of the almighty Taco Bell Buck, yes that super cool form of currency that garners you free Taco Bell in 5 dollar increments...and I would be more than glad to send some your way for you as well as to help spread the good word.

Now for some rapid fire response to the bonus round of questions:

Three cheese blend is found in your favorite 7 layer burrito and our quesadillas, but also in Cheesy Gordita Crunch and our Grilled Stuft Burritos.

As for the green sauce...since we are 80% franchise, some stores don't carry it. I know its a bummer, one of my favs is a bean burrito with green sauce.

no idea about the fire and ice deal, what are they sayin? the new stores are pretty cool, new color scheme, but come on don't you miss the old fire pits that were outside the old mission styles?

choco taco, depends on where you are, they are still on the menu in parts of Texas last time I heard.

and as far as the new LTO, hit me back on May 23 and I'll give you and your readers the scoop.

thanks again for your passion for our brand. and get me an address to send some TBBs.



Dear Will of Taco Bell, again

I can't access your email account. I've enabled mine so send an email and I'll get you my address.

Thank you for responding to my questions. what a pleasant surprise and turn of events. Support from the "top" is really a confidence builder.

I will respond to your response later in the day. As you might imagine, my mind is a little overwhelmed with everything I want to write.